Let’s face it… sometimes it makes sense to use stock photos because custom photography requires time and money. We think stock photos can be used on blog posts or social media posts, provided you choose wisely.
So, if you do decide to use stock photos, do your brand a favor and don’t look like everyone else by avoiding these overused stock photos in your marketing.
1. Headset Hottie
You know her. You’ve seen her. She is simply amazing because you can find her everywhere—from large and small companies to manufacturing companies to doctors’ offices and pretty much any other industry you can think of.
If there is one stock photo that you should avoid, this is it.
2. Experienced Business Man
Almost as ubiquitous as the Headset Hottie is the experienced business man. Completely neutral and easy on the eyes, this guy can be an executive, a consultant, a dentist, a salesman or pretty much anyone else.
I never quite know what this guy does, but he sure looks supremely confident and friendly.
3. Culturally Diverse Team
Coming in third on the list of stock photos never to use is the team photo that you don’t need to have HR and Legal approve because it is gender, racial and age neutral.
Completely neutral and uninspiring, these team photos do not do anything to your marketing material except use up valuable space.
4. Futuristic Touch Screen
Perhaps sometime in the near future, we will have the ability to view and manipulate digital objects with fingertips and hand gestures. But in 2016, the only place you can see this is in the movies with a lot of Hollywood magic.
These types of stock photos only help distance yourself from the reality of how business is done today.
5. Mobile Team Meeting
We all know how connected we are to our mobile phones and tablets. At home, in the car, at work and in meetings, we always have our smartphones with us. So, in a horrible attempt to somehow relate in-person meetings to technology, there is no shortage of stock photos of people in meetings paying attention to their phones instead of the person talking.
It’s bad form to check your phone during the meeting, so avoid using a stock photo that shows people in a meeting not paying attention to the person speaking.
You should be different
The best way to form a connection between your company and your audience is to form a person-to-person connection with real photos of you, your team and your products.
If time and budget does not allow for this, stock photos are a viable alternative to break apart text and to reinforce your content visually.